In this weekly feature, we make a playlist of some of the best and most important new songs from the week before. Each track is supplemented with a short commentary, giving a sense of why you should check them out.
All good things must come to an end – in this case because of an unplanned thunderstorm. With ACL Festival’s two weekends now behind us, it’ll be another year until the festival overtakes our city again. This week’s playlist features some favorites from this year’s lineup.
Vampire Weekend – “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”
The Brooklyn band was right at home in Austin this weekend, pleasing the crowd with hits from their entire catalogue. “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” takes us back to their debut, a time when the group could only dream of the headliner status they are currently living.
Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”
This Canadian duo brought plenty of wub wub to the south with their ethereal show. “Fineshrine” evokes the hazy atmosphere of their live setting, save for a bunch of cocoon lights hanging around the stage.
Arctic Monkeys – “Do I Wanna Know?”
The blues rockers had a chance to play their new material in Austin, and fans couldn’t have been happier. “Do I Wanna Know?” is a standout favorite from their newest album, with a riff so addictive it’s still resonating in festival-goers ears.
HAIM – “Don’t Save Me”
HAIM just released their debut album two weeks ago, but that didn’t hinder the group’s ability to draw a crowd. Performing on one of the main stages at the festival, the three sisters put on a big show that indicates a promising career. “Don’t Save Me” has all the trappings of hooky pop-rock-R&B that fits both constant radio play and live shows.
Blood Diamonds – “Phone Sex (feat. Grimes)"
Grimes ended her enormously fun set with “Phone Sex,” the collaborative track between her and producer Blood Diamonds. Super-fans of Grimes flooded the crowd with necklaces of her and personalized fan art, and every one of them left the show satisfied with smiles on their faces and a little less hearing.
The National – “Terrible Love”
Second weekenders didn’t have the chance to see The National this year, but those lucky enough to catch them at Stubb's got a huge surprise. Midway through the set, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon took the stage and played a few songs with them, including “Terrible Love.” How awesome is that?
Kendrick Lamar – “m.A.A.d city”
Put on a secondary stage without another big name playing elsewhere to divide the crowd, festival-goers surrounded Lamar in all directions. The Compton rapper energized the crowd, which was most evident when he played the title track “m.A.A.d city.”